For whatever reason, the other night I found myself in the middle of writing a longish, frank, open-ended conversation or “post” on Facebook. This was not something I planned or edited but after an initial burst of energy I discovered I was three paragraphs deep into what my friends would only really consider a rant. I read what I had written, and realized I had more to say, that my feelings were important for me to share, but that they also demanded something extra; an introduction, an explanation, and hopefully, an epilogue (although that part will be written by us all). This is my best attempt to that end, I don’t expect to hit the mark and I don’t expect everyone to read, comment on, or even acknowledge some what I have to say. I understand that the subjects I’m talking about are controversial, but I hope it is clear that I do not mean to impose, to blame or to implicate with any of my words, and that hope is best reflected in my effort to frame the essay with this title.
We’re all in this together, our civilization has grown for hundreds years to create our present situation, our complacence does not equate with guilt, indeed it’s just the opposite, as our current understanding of the principals and habits of this broken system allow us an advanced perspective to it’s biggest problems and best possible solutions. Dream Big, Demand the Impossible.
Living in Little Cottonwood Canyon during the winter, I’m lucky to be able to enjoy backcountry skiing in both wilderness and watershed areas, zones that are free (read – prohibited) of snow-machine travel. If you’re reading this, most likely you’re a skier or snowboarder, and even if you use an old beat-up sled to get deep into the mountains, once you’re there you probably trade it for skins and slog your way up the mountainside to earn your face shots. Backcountry skiing is about solitude and isolation, a dance with the wilderness. When not used correctly, snow-machines can create a noisy, hectic, and often dangerous atmosphere. If you value you value the solitude and serenity of a quiet mountain range dressed in white, then you should know this: on June 18th, the Forest Service issued a long-awaited rule for public comment on designating areas as open or closed to winter motorized vehicles, this is a good first step, but comments from our backcountry community can make it stronger! Your help is both needed and essential to capitalize on this opportunity to bring balance to the backcountry. By designating specific trails and areas where over-snow vehicle use may occur, winter travel planning is an opportunity to bring balance to the backcountry. The community of backcountry skiers needs to be heard! Please consider adding your comment to the voices of support for human-powered winter recreation. To get a better grasp of the issues at hand, and help you draft a comment worthy of consideration, the Winter Wildlands Alliance has put together a very helpful page to aid you in navigating this beurocratic issue. Keep reading to see a few links that can help you along, as well as my annotated comment if you’re interested. LET’S DO THIS!!!
One of my high school teachers once asked, “Without speech, would there still be thought?”At the time this stoner-esque consideration was profound enough to leave me not only speechless, but thoughtless as well.I tried to imagine a thought without words and could only vaguely conceive of emotional inspirations that well up deep within us.Music has a piece of this power, to convey thought and emotion without words, but in a way it borrows so much from speech and sound.
People seem to do a lot of talking, and a lot of thinking.Unfortunately, they don’t always go hand in hand and at times we seem to say things without thinking about them, and conversely to think of things without talking about them.Most of the time, this is all fine and well, after all if you’re not hurting someone or something with your pointless drivel then who cares, but words and thoughts have a way of turning into actions, and together these can have a serious impact.
Here I sit, hand bandaged in gauze and cotton, temporarily sidelined and forcibly inactive.The slightest miscalculation and most seemingly insignificant accident and I’m left with a torn ligament in my thumb, and it’s resulting surgical repair.After another summer of movement and adventure, I anticipated returning to a relatively sedentary winter existence, one with an abundance of reflection and introspective time, but this is hardly what I expected.A sense of déjà-vu pervades as I re-live Liz’s recent injury and remind myself that life is full of surprises, their being good or bad depends entirely on perspective, which in turn itself relies upon your grasp of reality, your worldview and your version of sanity.So as I recline with the subdued awareness I will not be climbing for months, that my work and play in the mountains will be limited equally, I cannot help but feel excitement and optimism for the future, and know I might be a little insane for doing so.
“By now the revolution has deprived the mass of consumers of any independent access to the staples of life; clothing, shelter, food, even water. Air remains the only necessity that the average user can still get for himself, and the revolution has imposed a heavy tax on that by way of pollution.”
Every winter the air around Salt Lake City Utah gains national attention for being some of the worst. It’s unique geography, dense population, and numerous industries often trap air between mountain ranges, creating a thick, foggy soup of air that can often be the worst in the Nation. As residents once again protest the quality of their air and argue that breathing clean air is a right that we can’t be denied, I have to wonder, what’s exactly making this air so unhealthy, and whatever it is why can’t we just turn if off? What could possibly be worth our lives, poisoning our air and killing ourselves?
Election time creates an atmosphere of intense social interaction.Everyone seems to awaken to the fact that they have a voice, a choice, and an opinion.The concept that we are able, in part, to choose the direction and character of our future translates to many of us becoming emboldened to share the opinions and ideas that we would otherwise keep silent.And not only do we share them, but we often insist upon them, creating division and intolerance towards anyone with an opposite view.Most of this “sharing” or “discussion” is happening on an impersonal basis.While we still seem to be obeying the old laws of not discussing politics or religion in public, we have realized that the media, meaning all forms of media, from the press to social media, are more of a mouthpiece for opinions then they are a forum for open and understanding discussion.While this has become commonplace in news media through the skewing of facts and opinions to support a one-sided view, it has also taken hold in social media outlets like Facebook.I’m sure most of you who are reading this are familiar with the phenomenon I’m talking about, and probably many of you have taken part in it as well.The silent shouting and badgering, sarcastic mockery and outright hate for not only an individual, but also the entire demographic he stands for.And yes, the incessant and unrelenting instruction that you VOTE!
Last week we wanted to “take it easy”, which more often than not means that instead of a big trip we end up having some very long and hard days. This was no exception. No car, no problem. Continue reading →